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Biennale appoints new Directors: David Chipperfield for Architecture and Alberto Barbera for Cinema
British architect David Chipperfield in the Apollo hall during the topping-out ceremony of the New Museum in Berlin. EPA/RAINER JENSEN.

VENICE.- The new Board of La Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta and composed of Giorgio Orsoni (Vice-President), Luca Zaia, Francesca Zaccariotto and Emmanuele Francesco Maria Emanuele, met for the first time on 27th December 2011 in the Biennale offices at Ca’ Giustinian and proceeded to appoint the Directors of the Architecture and Cinema sectors.

The appointments were decided as follows:
David Chipperfield was named Director of the Architecture Sector with the specific responsibility of curating the 13th International Architecture Exhibition, which will be held in Venice, at the institutional venues of Giardini and Arsenale, from August 29th to November 25th 2012 (preview on August 27th-28th).

Alberto Barbera was named Director of the Cinema Sector for a four-year term. The 69th Venice International Film Festival will be held at the Lido di Venezia from August 29th to September 8th 2012.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the President of the Biennale Paolo Baratta declared: “The Board first wished to thank the Minister for the Cultural Heritage and Activities Lorenzo Ornaghi and the Parliamentary Commissions for having expedited the procedures and having thereby been able, just a few days after their designation, to reach a decision on the appointment of the President and the members of the new Board of Administration of la Biennale di Venezia. La Biennale could only reciprocate by proceeding with the same alacrity to take the decisions required to begin operations on the next four-year period, in particular in the fields for which the decisions were most urgent.

For Architecture, the Board of Administration knew that David Chipperfield had already been contacted, and that he had shown great interest in being appointed as Director of the International Architecture Exhibition of the Biennale. We thank him for accepting and for having patiently awaited the official designation. Kazuyo Sejima’s appointment brought this Exhibition back into the hands of an architect, and Chipperfield’s pursues the same course. After a series of Exhibitions that illustrated the many different ways of approaching the theme of architecture in the contemporary era (sociological, technological, urban), it appeared useful to turn to an architect who demonstrates great interest in architecture as a discipline and raises questions about the elements of which it is composed, about the objectives it pursues, about the constraints that affect it, about the tools that it uses to shape places, spaces, buildings. The next Architecture Exhibition will be characterized by the emphasis on a series of relationships that connect great architects and younger generations that refer to them. This Exhibition will represent a major opportunity to bring both the general public and the world of architecture up to date. This is also why it has already begun to organize the program involving Universities from all around the world, entitled Biennale Sessions, successfully tested during the last edition of the Exhibition.

To continue to pursue the growth of the Venice International Film Festival, and to address the rising competition, the Biennale is committed to promoting the program to renovate the venues already begun last year, which will proceed throughout the next four-year period in the perspective of regenerating the entire Lido area.

To achieve this end, it is essential to create an intense harmony between the Biennale and the City of Venice, on which the completion of this project is largely, if not entirely, dependent; a harmonious relationship with the Lido, with its population, with its tourist facilities; a harmonious development with the city of Venice and with its administrative representation.

This commitment is important and must be steadfastly pursued. The Board of Administration has appointed Alberto Barbera as the Director of the Venice Film Festival for the next four-year period. Barbera will assist and advance this evolution with his recognized professional capacity, his intuition and his creativity. Venice’s position in the calendar of international Festivals must be developed to its fullest potential, along with the Venice Film Festival’s capacity to attract the finest international productions, which are actively promoted in the fall and winter that follow. In addition to his ability to attract quality films, Barbera adds the capacity to engage the many different artistic events related to the language of cinema, and the organizational capacity to develop the Industry Office into a ‘Light Market’ with realistic but significant objectives. Alberto Barbera has confirmed that he is willing to cultivate the possibilities of the Biennale College to develop permanent activities in Venice that will involve young artists. His work with the Museum of Cinema in Turin will undoubtedly prove helpful to this endeavour. Following the development of these activities in Dance, Music and Theatre, the Cinema and Architecture Sectors will also contribute to the instrument of the Biennale College, the growth of which will be actively pursued in the years to come. Just as it has acknowledged the extraordinary results of the International Art Exhibition and the other activities of the Biennale, the Board of Administration expressed its gratitude to Marco Mueller for having contributed throughout eight consecutive years to the growth and recognition of the Venice International Film Festival”.

David Chipperfield in particular says about his project that: “Participants will be encouraged through a declaration of affinities to make connections with other authors and other works. These dialogues and collaborations may involve a common proposal or a dialogue between projects even as a dialogue of provocation. In this way we wish to demonstrate the existence of a rich culture of architectural practice and research, stimulated by the work of other disciplines but defined by shared enthusiasms and concerns at a time when the singular works of architects are celebrated but the role of the profession and our place within society is continuously challenged.”

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